Thursday, October 05, 2006

How Does Romney Win the GOP Base?

If Romney will be one of Senator McCain’s biggest rivals in the NH primary, it is interesting to watch the reactions to his appointment of NH’s own Tom Rath as a senior advisor. I’m sure this appointment was specifically targeted at the NH primary. But the question that must be asked is how does he win the GOP base?

E. J. Dionne, Jr., in a Washington Post op-ed piece, questions whether Rath’s appointment signals a run against the President. The article points out that Rath acknowledges that Iraq has taken a large toll on Bush and the rationale for his support for Romney “is surprisingly similar to the explanations that Democrats give for the popularity of governors such as Lynch or Sebelius: Voters are in a mood for less "doctrinaire" politicians who can fix things.” Roth is further quoted on the federal government that “"There's a feeling that this great big thing doesn't work very well." He said Republicans need to win back voters who feel they gave "the keys to the car" to their party only to have it driven "into the back of the garage."

If these comments portend the advice Rath is giving Romney, how does Romney win the GOP base that is still supportive of the President? Time will tell if this strategy plays out.